By: Lisa Wilmore
Scripture: Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write… I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love (Revelation 2:1-4).
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
In all that we do and sacrifice for church services and works, we must remember to love as Christ loves. Church ministries sometime become repetitious and members are complacent in their ritualistic deeds until the services become dull and have no drawing or saving power for lost souls. In fact, our churches are so busy doing so many positive things, which is commendable, but later discover that they have left their first love, Jesus Christ.
In reality, we look good on the outside but yet inwardly suffer from a heart that has grown cold toward our loved ones, friends, and foes.
In the aforementioned scripture, John records Jesus’ sayings in a letter to the church of Ephesus. Jesus reminds them of all the good things they had done, yet shares his disapproval of their leaving him, their first love.
In addition, scholars commentate that Christ commends the church in Ephesus for “working hard, being patient, resisting sin, critically examining the claims of false Apostles, and suffering patience without quitting”. These characteristics obtained by churches are important to possess; however, they must materialize from our love for Jesus Christ and not out of selfish gain.
Although the church of Ephesus was commended for their many works, they still had a serious problem. They had left their first love. The church of Ephesus, like many of our churches throughout the world, do not have the love that “runs from heart to heart”, anymore, the type of love that Jesus possesses and exemplified during his ministry on earth. With this in mind, both Jesus and John stress brotherly love as an authentic proof of the Gospel.
How clearly do our churches show generosity with monetary gifts, possessions, and time? Do we really show love toward one another? John writes in 1 John saying, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:18).
Dear hearts, Christ is love. We must be found giving as he gave. So, “churches, do not leave your first love.”